Clafoutis is a traditional French dessert made with cherries. The texture is somewhere between that of a custard and that of a pancake and as typical for French desserts, it is rich but not overly sweet (in fact, it is often eaten not only as a dessert but also as a breakfast treat–maybe a special addition to a Sunday Brunch?). With the abundance of overripe and cheap cherries in the stores around me at the moment, it seemed like a great time to try my hand at a Paleo adaptation of this dessert.
One of the secrets to clafoutis is using very ripe, sweet cherries. This is a great dessert to make when you look at those cherries you bought on the weekend and start to think they might not be so good to eat anymore. You can also substitute other types of fruits and throw in other add-ons like sliced almonds if you want to get adventurous. A cherry pitter makes makes the prep work for clafoutis much simpler, and I love the way whole cherries slice when you serve this dessert (one of those kitchen gadgets that don’t get used that frequently, but boy do I ever appreciate having one when I do use it!). However, you could cut the cherries in half and remove the pits if you don’t own a cherry pitter.
I don’t use butter very often in recipes any more because my 3-year old is so sensitive to it. But, with clafoutis, the flavor of butter is part of what makes this dish clafoutis (traditional clafoutis would be made with both butter and heavy cream). You could very easily substitute ghee. If you are super sensitive to dairy like my youngest, palm shortening or lard would work too (I think lard would taste better). I don’t know if coconut oil would work in terms of the chemistry, but if you try it, make sure to leave a comment and let everyone know how it turned out!
Once again you’ll notice my use of green plantains (also called raw bananas in some parts of the world). I absolutely love working with green plantains in lieu of nut flours, both because I don’t tolerate nuts myself very well (which has increased my awareness for the need for nut-free recipes within the paleo, gluten-free, and grain-free communities) and because I love the chemistry of working with plantains. Green plantains also have a very neutral starchy flavor, so the flavor of other ingredients (like butter and cherries) can shine through. Similar to my other recipes with plantain, a green plantain should be green, typically not with black spots on it (that’s one that has been kept too cold to keep green during storage). When I find green plantains in a store (the best place to find green plantains near me is actually Walmart), I grab a bunch. They will stay pretty green in the fridge for up to about a week, but my preference is to puree them in the food processor and then freeze the puree (usually in 1 cup portions since so many of my recipes use 1 cup of plantain puree).
Yield: 8 servings
- 3 cups whole cherries, pitted
- 1 cup pureed green plantain (1 very large plantain or 1 1/2 medium sized plantains)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted grass-fed butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 10″ baking dish or skillet with butter.
- Pit cherries and place in your greased baking dish (should be just perfect to cover the dish with a single layer).
- Peel plantain (it’s helpful to cut in half crosswise and then each half in half again lengthwise and then pry the peel off with your fingers). Combine plantain with the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until completely smooth (3-5 minutes depending on your blender or food processor).
- Pour batter over the cherries.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until set (the middle doesn’t jiggle and a toothpick comes out clean). Let cool about 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Best served warm, but leftovers are pretty darned good too (I just threw some plastic wrap over the top once it had completely cooled and left it on the counter). If you want to get really decadent, you could serve with some whipped heavy cream, coconut cream (see this recipe), or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!